CHEROKEE-L ArchivesArchiver > CHEROKEE > 2001-11 > 1005566749
From: "Tsa na Jordan" <>
Subject: Re: [Chero-Culture] SOME POINTS ABOUT TSALAGI RELIGION
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2001 06:05:49 -0600
Thanks so much for all this information in your last posts! I love it!
I'm learning so much! And, its written clearly too! I've share these with
my cousin and will also share them with my neice and nephew so they learn
from those who speak in a good way!
----- Original Message -----
From: "Sheila Anderson-Lewis" <>
Sent: Sunday, November 11, 2001 7:26 PM
Subject: [Chero-Culture] SOME POINTS ABOUT TSALAGI RELIGION
> Tsalagi Religion
> SOME POINTS ABOUT TSALAGI RELIGION
> There was no special day of the week set aside for religious observance.
> Every day to the Tsalagi wsa contolled by religious beliefs ans
> A new day was started by "going to water" and facing the rising
> Asgaya Galvlati for another new day and for the gift of a new sun. They
> preformed "going to water" when they had to break ice in the winter as
> as the summer. To the Tsalagi,religion was not simply one of animism and
> pluralism,withas unknown universe made of spirits and unexplained
> It was not a simple belief in supernatural spirits controlled throught
> shmanism. A Tsalagi did not worship Nature,althought he did revere it.He
> believed in a Creator, who was known under many names. He was called
> Galvlati(Man Above),Ganodugwaludusik (Master of life),Yohewa(Great
> Unequa(Great Being), and Adanehilahusgi(Creative Being, to name a few.
> The Tsalagi believed that Asgaya Galvlati had many helpers and messengers.
> These helpers spirits and messenger spirits could be called upon by an
> Adawehi, or by any individual himself to give aid. These spirits may live
> plant, the soil, water,fire, or any part of nature. A plant or an animal
> its own spirit or being, some helpful to man, some not. The spirit that
> lived within these being of nature were not necessarily the spirit that
> lived within these beings of nature were not necessarily the spirit of its
> inhabiter, but were an extension of the Great Creator. The rest of the
> elments of nature might not have had their own being or had one of the
> Creative Being's residing with it, but it wsa worthy of repect and was not
> to be destroyed with malice.
> These spirits were prayed to, not as God, but to ask them for thier
> assistance. The messenger spirits were asked to take messages to the
> Creative Being for of His helpers. Spirit helpers worked independently
> the Greator Creator, and used the powers given to Him. There were many
> spirits living in the world of man. The most powerful and most revered was
> Gigagegagu(Ancient Red), the spirit of success, of life, the fighter
> who was called upon when a man was in need of help to solve a difficult
> Ancient Red had brother spirits called Black,White,Blue. These four
> were so close to being one that they were Degataga(So closely united as to
> form ine spirit), one spirit), and when they were called "As One," they
> called Hikayulige(Ancient One). When an Adawehi prayed on behalf of a man,
> Red Woman was called upon,and when the prayer was in behalf of a women,
> Man was called upon.
> Other lesser helpers were within animal spirits. The animal was not sacred
> to the Tsalagi, no more than man himslef, except for a few animals of
> religion signifiacance. But their sacredness could be nulified through
> sacred prayers.
> There were times when an Adawehi would call upon the spirits from the four
> cardinal points of East, South, West and North, using their color symbols
> Red, White, Black, Blue to designate the spirit they were praying to.
> An Adawehi would also call upon Kananiski(Spider), Gili(dog),
> Giuagiya(A Hawk from the coast), among the most powerful and most called
> upon spirit helpers. Only an Adawehi knew which ones should be used at a
> certain time. The most sacred of the animal spirit was Utsenati(He has a
> bell), the "Rattlesnake." All spirits of plants were to give aid in curing
> diseases, Tsolv(Tobacco) being the most important and sacred.
> There were spirits in all phenomenons of nature, such as the wind, the
> storm, the clouds, and all were called upon for aid. Nuda Unelanuhi(Man
> Apportioner), "Sun" and Nuda Ageyaguga(Woman Measurer), "Moon" were both
> messanger and helper spirits.
> Atsila(Fire) was the most sacred of all messenger spirits. Ama(water) was
> called upon for aid in involking the aid of Yuwi Gunahita(Long Person).
> Other important messenger spirit were Nvgitsuhulai(Four Winds) from the
> cardinal points of Digalvgunyi(it comes from the East), Ugalayai(Warm
> or South), Udiligvyi (It goes down there, or West) and Ayastaluyi (Ice
> there, or North). Teigs and barkof Atsina(cedar) were thrown into the fire
> and its aroma drove off evil spirits so they could not hear what was going
> The Anidawehi were the only ones who knew all the sacred prayers to call
> upon all the spirits to aid man. Some of the general prayers were taught
> members of this tribenso they could call upon the aid of the Creative
> and His spirit helpers whenever they were far from an Adawehi. But the
> sacred prayers were in the secret language of the Anidawehi and never
> to the common man.
> Religion was always esstenial to the Tsalagi and it guided his every act.
> His religion was not meaningless form of secret rites and formulas. It was
> long studied and thought out sacred belief,not a superstition. A Tsalagi
> prayer was temporal, asking for good health, long life,success in
> for protection against his enemies, and revenge whe he is violated. The
> Ani-Tsalagi thanked God for all He did for them.
> The Ani-Tsalagi believed in a Creative Being and that there were
> supernatural spirits to call upon to either aid him or carry his message
> They did not know where a man's spirit went after death, but they did
> believe that,when a man died, his spirit traveled West to join Black Man
> would guide his spirit to the After Life.
> For Tsalagi, there was no punishment after death for wrongs done here in
> this life.
> The only wonrgs a man did in his lifetime were against his fellow man, his
> brother animals and plants, and to anger the Spirits. No man could wrong
> God,for asa small,insignificant mortal, he did not have the power. He sis
> his best while living not to violate the rights of his fellow tribesmen
> not to insult or hurt others'feelings. He tried not to anger the Bad
> which would bring trouble to his people. He tried to obey the religious
> as decreed by the Anidawehi,but not all things are possible to mere mortal
> posted to Cherokee-L by Sheila Anderson-Lewis
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|Re: [Chero-Culture] SOME POINTS ABOUT TSALAGI RELIGION by "Tsa na Jordan" <>|